The DIGIMAN project involves the development of innovative sensory tools and solutions for the characterization of the cutting process and of the machining output, tools for virtual modeling and interpretative / decision-making functionalities based on artificial intelligence.

The project activities, divided into these three macro areas of development, will give rise to a series of hardware-software modules integrated with each other.

This architecture will deal with the acquisition, processing, structuring and consolidation of data (Data Module / History Module); whether they come from the machine or from the sensory solutions that will be developed ad-hoc (i.e. Advanced tool and Inspection System). These elaborations will then be the basis for giving rise to any control actions directed towards the machine (Reasoning Module).

Thanks to the synergistic exploitation of data and models, a module (Digital Twin Module), with relative updating functions, will be responsible for generating a virtual representation of the machined piece, an extreme meaning of the perceptive capabilities desirable for a CPS.

Finally, within the Virtual Operator Module, the interpretative capacity will be introduced through machine learning algorithms, which is now the prerogative of expert operators only; allowing the machine to inference about the process and train inexperienced personnel.

DIGIMAN's goal is to create a prototype of a Cyber-Physical system that declines the functionality of the Augmented Manufacturing Platform AMP to an industrial case study. In particular, it is planned to develop a “Cyber” module, also called AMP, and to integrate it into a machining center for chip removal. It is also planned to develop innovative sensor tools and solutions for the characterization of the cutting process and machining output, and to operate control and direct implementation actions. 

Expected results

Utensile avanzato per applicazioni di tornitura/fresatura ad alta precisione

Advanced tool for high precision turning/milling applications

A tool prototype will be created with autonomous sensory capabilities (e.g. force on the cutting edges, temperature, vibrations) and equipped with active elements (i.e. implemented by piezoelectric materials) capable of modifying the geometry of the cutting edges themselves. The tool will be equipped with a special power supply, data collection and transmission system and will be interfaced with the Cyber part. The goal of a tool conceived in this way is to extend the perceptive capabilities of the machinery on which it is used and to evaluate its potential with regard to: compensation of geometric errors, improvement of surface finishes, reduction of vibrations, etc. To this end, in relation to the most promising functionalities, adequate control strategies will be defined, developed and tested that exploit the sensory capabilities of the prototype.

Semi-automatic module able to characterize the "quality" of a component processed by a machining center.

It is a robotic arm, equipped with a vision system, a lighting system, a control and data processing module (inside the Data Module), capable of inspecting some technological features of a machined piece, processing its images extracting synthetic indicators (Synthesized process indicators) associated with the quality and morphology of the related surfaces. It is planned to test the functions of the prototype on a series of reference surface samples.

Modulo semi-automatico in grado di caratterizzare la qualità di un componente processato da un centro di lavoro.
Virtual Operator

Virtual Operator

It is a module which, exploiting information coming from machine signals, images (or related processing) of the processes performed (Synthesized process indicators and Processed surface data from the Data Module), from processing carried out by the CPS (coming from the Digital Twin Module ) and considering the possible opinion of the machine operator, is able to independently evaluate the achievement of the desired quality and is able to infer, after training, about any machining problems, the state of the tool and the machine. The company procedures provide for a quality assessment that will act as input, in addition to the evaluation of the operator, to the improvement and updating strategies of the module. It is planned to verify the potential of the system on reference pieces that will be specially made.

Digital Twin Module

It is one of the modules foreseen in the Cyber part to which the specific function of forecasting the surface morphology is assigned. The module is based on the simulation of the complex interaction between tool and workpiece. It is designed to work, in relation to the needs and usability of some information (vibrations, tool geometry), in the following ways: off-line, usable for example by the technologist during the definition of the machining strategy or by the designer during the verification phase of the machine design through the use of historical data from the on-line History Module with data from other subsystems of the CPS to which the scanning (ie laser optics) of the real tool geometry and the estimation of the vibration at the tool end is assigned.

Digital Twin Module